Biology Free Online Course by Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offering free online course on Introduction to Biology. This course require high school level biology and chemistry and desire to learn.

In this 12 week course, applicants will explore the secret of life through the basics of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA, genomics and rational medicine.

Course At A Glance 

Length: 12 weeks
Effort: 7-14 hours pw
Subject: Biology & Life Sciences
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $ 150
Session: Self-Paced

Providers’ Details

Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a coeducational, privately endowed research university founded in 1861 — is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Learn more about MIT. Through MITx, the Institute furthers its commitment to improving education worldwide.

About This Course

Read fully to understand the verified-certificate option. Join Professor Eric Lander and the MITx Biology team in a newly restructured introductory biology learning experience. All original 7.00x course materials are available here for exploration and completion, including video and interactive problem sets and exams. We strongly encourage you to work through the activities, towards a goal of learning biology. In this version of the course, we have kept the course content the same while optimizing the course settings for learning: instant feedback after trying problems and all content available at all times. University now offer a more thorough and robust means of certifying edX learners in their mastery of the MITx introductory biology content, through a new MITx 7.00x Introduction to Biology Competency Exam.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. This MOOC will be offered with Video Transcripts in English.  Applicants can get a verified certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  • How to describe the building blocks of life and how their interactions dictate structure and function in biology
  • How to predict genotypes and phenotypes given genetics data
  • How to explain the central dogma of molecular biology and convert DNA sequence to RNA sequence to protein sequence
  • How to use molecular tools to study biology
  • How to describe the principles of early sequencing as well as modern sequencing and the effects of these technologies on the filed of genomics
  • How to apply the principles of modern biology to issues in today’s society


Eric S. Lander

Eric Lander is a Professor of Biology at MIT and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.

Graham Walker

Graham Walker is a Professor of Biology at MIT and an HHMI Professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Michelle Mischke

Dr. Michelle Mischke was an Instructor in the Department of Biology at MIT through 2014. She served as course coordinator for MITx 7.00x. She is now the Director of Education Programs at Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation.

Brian White

Brian White is an educator, developer, and educational researcher. He teaches Introductory Biology at the University of Massachusetts of Boston.

Mary Ellen Wiltrout

Dr. Mary Ellen Wiltrout is an MITx Digital Learning Scientist in the Department of Biology at MIT.


High school level biology and chemistry recommended. A desire to learn is required.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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